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Last week, Miami-based Javalution Coffee Company announced that its coffee roasting operation had been granted Fair Trade Certification.
For those unfamiliar with Fair Trade coffee, it is part of large, organized, and international program to provide aid to developing countries. Inside the basket of products includes everything you would expect for exports from developing countries, including bananas, honey, coffee, other fruit. A central body named FLO International manages the Fair Trade mark granted only to companies meeting FLO’s standards of commerce.
Those standards are based in principle on the fair treatment of the developing countries. To be granted the mark, a company has to be at some point in the coffee supply chain and only dealing with exporters that: do not use child labor, guarantee a safe environment for workers, allow workers the right to unionize, and adhere to the United Nations charter of human rights. Finally, that company pays a price for coffee that promotes social development in the developing country, and protection and conversation of its environment. The sad truth is that the coffee countries of the world are generally poor and workers are mistreated or else underpaid. The Fair Trade mark ensures that you are consuming a product that supports its source environment and its people, rather than exploiting it.
You will pay slightly more for Fair Trade certified coffee. Consider it a charitable donation for a product you’re consuming anyway. While paying slightly more for great coffee, your donation supports prosperity in the developing countries. Starbucks is Fair Trade certified, or more specifically, select coffees of theirs are certified. Look for the mark. Learn more about Starbucks Fair Trade coffees.
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